I really love themes. This past year, I’ve been doing a lot more user experience design. I’ve been working more with building interfaces than building actual websites. To make up for the lack of from-scratch, visual design in my life, I’ve been focusing a lot on theme design in my spare time. I’ve been paying a lot of attention to what themes have been released this year.
Overall, I’ve been pretty wowed with the quality of new themes we’ve been releasing on WordPress.com, so much that I really wanted to call out some of my favorite themes from the past couple of months. Here are my top five favorites from the past three or four months:
Writr is a flat, tumblog-style theme that wowed me when it was released at the end of October. I love the vertical panels, which are such a change from the trend of horizontal content blocks. The type combined with the colors and iconography make this theme really fun and friendly.
I loved Highwind so much that I decided to use it for my own themes site. It’s another free, flat-styled theme with some great type and iconography. It’s a little more of a traditional blog layout than Writr. I really love the form field and button styling — they have just enough depth to really make them contrast with the rest of the flat, solid colors of the theme.
I was instantly taken with Kiore Moana when I first saw it in a Thursday Theme post. I love the soft colors, the big type, and the huge featured images. It’s modern, it’s fun, and it really puts your content first. The little details really give it an artisanal feel. Even though it’s a premium theme, it has a lower price tag, currently set at only $18.
Like Kiore Moana, Awesome opts for big and bold text and imagery. It’s an awesome choice for people who post a lot of videos, images, or galleries. It features some really great slideshow functionality for galleries. It tucks your main navigation to the side with a vertical, icon-driven navigation bar. It’s pretty awesome. This premium theme does come with a premium price tag, though — it currently costs $75.
I honestly think Basis is one of the most exciting themes to be released into the entire WordPress ecosystem in the past year. I had the pleasure of playing around with it when it was first released and was really impressed. Overall, building a site with Basis felt pretty intuitive and simple. I really love how it enables and empowers businesses and startups to build their own beautiful websites without sacrificing beauty or functionality. At $79, this theme is a steal for people who would otherwise need to hire a designer or developer to make their business site.
How about you guys? What are some of your favorite new WordPress themes?